Friday, August 30, 2013

Pardon Me, But Fuck!

The preceding swear is not for dramatic effect, nor is it link-bait. I really mean it. As soon as I write something I think is clever on this blog, I go and read Smart Ass Cripple, and my illusions are shattered. But, I do it anyway because he's just so great.

Everything In Moderation

I can't know what it's like to be a non-disabled person, but I'll bet one of the most confusing aspects of disability awareness for non-disabled people is our dislike of being admired.

For one thing, what's wrong with a person who gets angry at being praised? For another, as soon as we get done saying for the umpteenth time that we're not "inspirational", we start complaining about the cruelty and thoughtlessness of strangers. So, what is it, then? Are people supposed to mean to us or nice?

The answer is ridiculously simple … moderation.

Be nice, but not too nice, or for no reason.

Meanness is never okay, but if you're in a bad mood, don't sprain something trying to be nice. Just remember that there's a thin line between disapproval and cruelty. And don't use our disability as a special focus for your anger or resentment issues.

Pretty simple, I'd say.

P.S.: Also, stop saying "retard", to anyone, in any situation. And we get to say "cripple" if we want, you don't.

Again, not too difficult.

Question For Disability Nerds ...

Earlier this summer I posted some thoughts about starting a podcast about disability in movies and television. I haven't gotten very far yet with that idea, except that my list of potential topics has grown exponentially. I keep thinking about films and shows I'd forgotten, and finding out about ones I've never seen.

The idea still seems sound, and as far as I know there's no consistent, ongoing content looking at disability in popular culture from both a disability-aware standpoint and … this would be the key for me … from a TV and movie-friendly perspective. In other words, I'm not interested in a highly politicized or harshly judgmental treatment of the subject. I don't mind criticizing bad depictions, but I love TV and movies, so I don't assume their depictions of disability will all be bad. I also don't think "bad" is a simple concept here. It depends on the context, the intent, and the effect, all in equal parts. Plus entertainment value.

So, would you visit a website and / or listen to a podcast about how disability is depicted in movies and on TV shows? Vote in the poll in the right hand column.